[Federal Register: August 22, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 162)]
[Page 47062-47063]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Wells, York County, ME

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability: Final comprehensive conservation plan 
and finding of no significant impact.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and 
Finding of No Significant Impact for Rachel Carson National Wildlife 
Refuge (NWR).

[[Page 47063]]

Prepared in conformance with the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge 
System Improvement Act of 1997, and the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969, the plan describes how we intend to manage the refuge over 
the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain copies of this CCP on compact disk or in 
print by writing to Rachel Carson NWR, 321 Port Road, Wells, Maine 
04090, telephone 207-646-9226. You may also access and download a copy 
from the Web sites http://library.fws.gov/ccps.htm or http://rachelcarsonrefuge

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ward Feurt, Refuge Manager, Rachel 
Carson NWR, at 207-646-9226, or by electronic mail at 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge 
System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.), requires CCPs 
for all refuges to provide refuge managers with 15-year strategies for 
achieving refuge purposes and furthering the mission of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System. Developing CCPs is done according to the sound 
principles of fish and wildlife science and laws, while adhering to 
Service planning and related policies. In addition to outlining broad 
management direction on conserving refuge wildlife and habitat, CCPs 
identify wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the 
public, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife 
observation and photography, and environmental education and 
interpretation. We will review and update this CCP at least once every 
15 years.
    Rachel Carson NWR spans over 5,293 acres, which comprises 10 
divisions between the towns of Kittery and Cape Elizabeth in York and 
Cumberland Counties, Maine. The refuge harbors estuaries that provide 
nurseries for many marine fish. Its tidal rivers provide passage to 
upstream spawning areas for anadromous fish. Its diverse aquatic and 
upland habitats support breeding, migrating, and wintering birds, and 
provide essential habitat for nationally threatened and endangered 
species. The Service acquired most of the refuge under authority of the 
Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1929 (16 U.S.C. 715-715r) for ``use 
as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purposes, for 
migratory birds.''
    We distributed a draft CCP/Environmental Assessment (EA) for public 
review and comment for 30 days between August 17 and September 18, 
2006. Its distribution was announced in the Federal Register on August 
17, 2006 (71 FR 47511). That draft analyzed three alternatives for 
managing the refuge. We also held two public meetings on August 29 and 
September 7, 2006, to obtain public comments. We received 41 comments 
from local towns, conservation and recreational organizations, and 
local residents. Appendix J of the final CCP includes a summary of 
those comments and our responses to them.
    We selected Alternative B (the Service-proposed action) from the 
draft CCP/EA as the alternative for implementation. Our final CCP fully 
describes its details. Staff from Rachel Carson NWR headquarters office 
in Wells, Maine, will continue to administer all divisions of the 
refuge. Highlights of Alternative B, which will be incorporated into 
the final CCP, include:
    (1) Acquire the remaining 3,833 acres within the approved 
acquisition boundary and expand the refuge by 5,558 acres beyond its 
current approved boundary for future acquisitions;
    (2) Build a new administrative complex including office space, 
maintenance facilities, and visitor contact station;
    (3) Combine the Moody, Lower Wells, Upper Wells, and Mousam River 
Divisions into one Wells Bay Division;
    (4) Increase public use opportunities, e.g., provide expanded 
hunting and fishing opportunities in new land acquisitions;
    (5) Improve the availability and quality of interpretive signs and 
kiosks, nature trails, and parking areas;
    (6) Incorporate a pilot recreation fee program to support public 
use activities;
    (7) Enhance outreach and partnerships with local communities, 
expand the role and membership of our Friends Group, and strengthen our 
relationships with neighbors and elected officials; and
    (8) Develop Rachel Carson NWR as an outstanding center for research 
and demonstration emphasizing land management techniques for restoring 
and sustaining healthy estuarine ecosystems in concert with the 
Service's Land Management Research and Demonstration program.

    Dated: July 25, 2007.
Thomas J. Healy,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hadley, 
 [FR Doc. E7-16614 Filed 8-21-07; 8:45 am]